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ECOPHYSIOLOGY Incubation temperature and phenotypic traits of Sceloporus

Incubation temperature and phenotypic traits of Sceloporus
undulatus: implications for the northern limits of distribution
Scott L. Parker Robin M. Andrews
Received: 13 March 2006 / Accepted: 11 October 2006
Springer-Verlag 2006
Abstract Cold environmental temperature is detri-
mental to reproduction by oviparous squamate reptiles
by prolonging incubation period, negatively affecting
embryonic developmental processes, and by killing
embryos in eggs directly. Because low soil temperature
may prevent successful development of embryos in
eggs in nests, the geographic distributions of oviparous
species may be influenced by the thermal requirements
of embryos. In the present study, we tested the
hypothesis that low incubation temperature determines
the northern distributional limit of the oviparous lizard
Sceloporus undulatus. To compare the effects of incu-
bation temperature on incubation length, egg and
hatchling survival, and hatchling phenotypic traits, we


Source: Andrews, Robin - Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology